Georgia Mechanic’s Lien and Pre-Lien Notices
In most states, including Georgia, simply filing a mechanic’s lien at the end of the project when you are unpaid, is not enough. If you are a subcontractor, you also have to serve a pre-lien notice as step one before that mechanic’s lien. The purpose of a pre-lien notice is to identify yourself to owners and make sure you are included in payments and partial lien waivers.
Accordingly, Georgia has two types of pre-lien notices which might apply to a subcontractor or material/equipment supplier. It depends upon whether the owner or the general has filed what is called a Notice of Commencement at the start of the job. If this notice has been filed, subcontractors and suppliers may, but are not required, to serve a preliminary notice called “Preliminary Notice of Lien”. National lien law has these forms available for purchase on its site for a low price.
Even though it is not directly mandated by Georgia statute, it is highly recommended. By filing this pre-lien notice, it prevents your lien rights from being diminished by the general contractor if they give an unconditional affidavit of lien waiver attesting to the payment of all subcontractors and suppliers.
What directly impacts the potential for you filing a Georgia mechanic’s lien, is the fact that at the end of the project the owner may require the general contractor to give a special affidavit which states that all subcontractors and suppliers have been paid. The owner is entitled to rely on this statement. If there is a statement that all persons have been paid, including subcontractors, then you might be precluded from recording your Georgia mechanic’s lien.
On the other hand, if you send out your pre-lien notice, this tells the owner of your presence, and it would ensure you are paid before relying upon the general contractor’s affidavit.
If you have questions as to a Georgia mechanic’s liens, you can call us for an initial free consultation.